EXTRA LIVES WOULD MAKE A MORE ExCITING RIDE
TWO RECENT releases from Virgin Games are Rider and Angler, both for the 48K Spectrum. In Rider, you are an MI5 agent charged with a two-part mission. Stage one consists of parachuting into enemy territory and attempting to land on a moving motor-cycle. Thus mounted, you then move to stage two, which entails riding through a minefield to check the terrain prior to invasion.
You choose any level of difficulty from 001 to 007 and must avoid not only randomly-placed mines but obstacles which may cause you to crash. If you manage to stay the course you will be promoted.
The graphics in both stages of the game are lively and the second stage promises a fast and challenging ride. A major fault, however, is that if you crash during stage two, you have to go back to your original parachuting exercise. Extra lives for the motor-cyclist would have made the game more satisfying, as the second part is the more exciting and difficult to master.
Angler could help confirm the low status of fishing as a spectator sport. In it you are at sea with your trawler, attempting to catch a variety of fish, all gaining different scores according to their type.
The trawler moves left and right and pressing any key casts the fishing line. According to the instructions, the length of time you keep the keys depressed determines the length of the line but, in the reviewer's experience, the line showed an infuriating tendency to stop short of any fish at which it was aimed.
The game features a scoreboard so that you can compete against your friends and a high score earns a certificate of merit. Fairly rudimentary graphics and slow responses, even if you choose an advanced level of difficulty, do not make it wildly exciting.
Rider and Angler are produced by Virgin Games, 61- 63 Portobello Road, London W11 and cost £5.50 each.